How does sleep apnea hurt your heart?
Consider what you are doing while experiencing sleep apnea at night. You stop breathing for a short period of time – a long enough period of time that it affects your sleep and increases your blood pressure.
Why does it increase your blood pressure? When you stop breathing your blood starts to run low on its available oxygen. In response to the drop in oxygen that your blood is experiencing, your heart pumps harder to move more blood with less oxygen throughout the body. With increased heart rate comes higher blood pressure.
Why is higher blood pressure during sleep harmful?
Consider that sleep is the time your body sets aside to rest and recover from the day. All bodily function slow significantly because the different systems and facilities of your body need a break. Now consider that the one muscle in your body that is always hard at work, day or night, is being made to work even harder during the time it is supposed to be able to recover.
It all adds up over the years, especially when you consider that you spend one third of your whole life sleeping! It doesn’t just raise your blood pressure by a small amount either. Studies have shown that sleep apnea can raise your blood pressure anywhere between ten and twenty percent. That’s roughly eight hours of time where your heart is working harder than if you were just sitting down, watching TV or reading a book!
How can I help my heart?
Please contact us to schedule an appointment today. We can determine a treatment method that fits with your lifestyle and works effectively to combat sleep apnea.